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Center City Vending License Lottery Announcement
All current Philadelphia sidewalk vending license-holders have been automatically entered to win the opportunity to purchase a Center City Vending License. Thirty-six winners will be selected at random on March 20, 2019. Each winner will have an opportunity to purchase a Center City Vending License to sell goods at a specific Center City location.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if I’ve been selected?
  • The Vending Unit at the Department of Licenses and Inspections will call and email the winners within five (5) business days of the date of the lottery.
  • If you have been selected, but do not want to purchase a Center City Vending License, please let us know at that time.
What does a Center City Vending License do?
  • A Center City Vending License allows the license-holder to sell goods at the specific Center City Vending Location listed on the License.
Which Center City Vending Locations will be awarded?
I was selected! How do I obtain the License and start vending in Center City?
  • You will be given a time to visit the L&I Vending Unit in the Municipal Services Building, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, to choose a Center City Vending Location. You must bring the following:
    • Proof of identity and address
    • Active Vending License
    • Type of goods you intend to vend (prepared food, produce/flowers, or merchandise)
    • Active Food License (if selling food)
    • Photos of your table or cart.
    • PA vehicle registration for cart, if you will be using a cart.
    • Center City Vending License Fee of $330.00 (check or money order).
You will then have 60 days to start operating at your assigned Center City Vending Location.

Additional questions? Please call the L&I Vending Unit at 215-686-2414

Revisions to Pier Inspection Requirements
Bill #180746 was enacted on January 3, 2019. It revises the Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code as it relates to the periodic inspection of piers. The Property Maintenance Code has required periodic underwater pier inspections by a PA licensed engineer since 2002, after the tragic collapse of the Pier 34 nightclub.

The primary purpose of Bill #180746 is to revise the pier inspection requirements to align with other periodic inspections by simplifying the rating system and establishing a requirement to submit a summary report, similar to the forms used for building facades and fire escapes.

Review Section 314 of the Property Maintenance Code for full details of the bill, and look for the new forms on in the coming weeks.
Preliminary Review Available for Construction Projects
Effective March 1, 2019, L&I will offer a preliminary review meeting option for applicants who want early answers to design questions before starting a construction project. Currently, L&I has two other preliminary review service options—email and plan review.

Use the Preliminary Review Information Sheet to determine which option is right for your project.
Mandatory Floodplain Scoping Meeting Required
Effective March 15, 2019, a Floodplain Scoping Meeting is required for all projects in the Special Flood Hazard Area with an associated cost of work of $50,000 or more. The meeting will provide early direction on floodplain requirements to avoid delays in the project.

Review the Floodplain Scoping Meeting Information Sheet for more details.
Installation of Automatic Sprinkler Systems Information
An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in the following areas of buildings that have one or more stories located 45 feet (13 716mm) or more above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access:
  • Basements.
  • The level of exit discharge.
The owner of every building of five (5) stories or more in height shall submit the required compliance document—COMING SOON—to the Department by July 1, 2019* to

Refer to Bill #180745 for full ordinance details.

*Additional information will be posted on as the implementation procedure is finalized. The Department will mail out notification letters to building owners affected by this ordinance with information about how to submit questions and/or upload the compliance documentation.
eCLIPSE Registration Now Open for Attorneys & Design Professionals
Online permitting via L&I’s eCLIPSE platform is coming in Summer 2019. Attorneys and Design Professionals need to complete a free, one-time registration (that never expires) to file permit applications in their name. Beat the rush by registering early — registration opens February 2019!

Find out the top 5 reasons why professionals should register early or access the quick guide to registering.
Read the Latest Issue of the L&I e-Newsletter
Earlier today, L&I sent the February 2019 issue of its e-newsletter to over 1,500 subscribers. The newsletter shares the latest changes and updates for permits, licenses, codes, and the eCLIPSE project.

If you’re not already a newsletter subscriber, SUBSCRIBE NOW and automatically receive future issues of the L&I Newsletter!

To stay up-to-date on permit or license changes, L&I Resources is a 'resourceful' page of valuable information about code or process changes, in addition to Zoning Legislation and links to other City Departments whose changes may also affect a permit or a license. Be sure to bookmark L&I Resources for quick reference in the future!
New! Search by Contractor Name to See Associated Permits
Use the Contractor Lookup Tool to search by contractor name and see all active permits associated with a specific contractor. 
Sign Up to Participate in eCLIPSE Testing for Electrical Permitting
eCLIPSE testing for electrical permitting will take place in March 2019 at the Municipal Services Building. This kind of testing, often called UAT (User Acceptance Testing), is when people who will actually be using a system/software, try it out in real-life conditions to make sure it will work. 

If you'd like to participate in this testing, sign up here. L&I will reach out when more information about the testing session(s) becomes available. 
L&I North District Building Unit Has Temporarily Moved
Effective January 2, 2019, the North District Office's Building Unit, located at 217 E. Rittenhouse St., will be under renovation and temporarily closed for the next six (6) to eight (8) weeks.

During this time, the Building staff will be working out of the North Central Office at 1514 Cecil B. Moore Ave., and can be reached at 215-683-0580, -0584.
Inspector General and L&I Recover $160,000 from Non-compliant Philadelphia Construction Firms

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2018
Contact: Amy L. Kurland, (215) 686-1770,

Inspector General and L&I Recover $160,000 from Non-compliant Philadelphia Construction Firms
After being investigated by the Philadelphia Office of Inspector General and Department of Licenses and Inspections, Rock Haven Builders LLC and V2 Properties LLC, entered into settlement agreements.

PHILADELPHIA – Inspector General Amy L. Kurland announced today that real estate developer V2 Properties LLC and its general contractor Rock Haven Builders LLC. agreed to pay a total of $160,000 in permit fees and fines and to implement a compliance program with additional conditions for the companies’ use of fraudulently altered permits and failure to obtain required Right of Way permits at 94 different construction sites in Philadelphia.

“This case clearly shows that the City will not tolerate companies that cut corners. If you want to do business within the City, you must always play by the rules,” said Amy L. Kurland.

In close collaboration with both the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and the Streets Department, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified 94 different residential construction projects where developer, V2 Properties, and general contractor, Rock Haven Builders, failed to obtain Right of Way permits from the Streets Department. The Philadelphia Code required a sidewalk and/or street closure permit at each of the sites, which neither the developer nor the contractor ever obtained. On four construction sites, L&I found that Rock Haven Builders had posted previously-used permits, altered to appear as if they had been issued for the projects on those sites.

After the OIG and L&I investigations and cooperation of both companies, V2 agreed to pay the City $100,000 for owed permit fees and Rock Haven agreed to pay $60,000 in fines.

“Skirting the City’s permitting process and construction codes will not be tolerated,” said L&I Commissioner David Perri, “L&I has strengthened its audit, investigation, and enforcement units and will continue to work closely with OIG to protect the safety of our community.”

Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams added, “The City will use all available enforcement tools to hold developers and contractors accountable. This collaborative effort sends a strong and unified message.”

In addition to the financial compensation, V2 Properties also agreed to implement a permit compliance program that includes periodic training for subcontractors and a designated permit conformance manager for all projects. Rock Haven’s Philadelphia contractor’s license will also be subject to a one-year probationary period.

About the Office of the Inspector General
The mission of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is to enhance public confidence in the integrity of City government by rooting out corruption, fraud, misconduct, waste and mismanagement. For more information, visit:

About the Streets Department
The Philadelphia Streets Department and the divisions within it are responsible for the City’s vast network of streets and roadways. The Streets Department’s mission is to provide clean, green, and safe streets in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The department delivers a number of City services that are critical to maintaining the public health and safety in our communities.

About the Department of Licenses and Inspections
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) enforces the City’s codes for the safe and lawful construction and use of buildings. L&I embraces best practices in technology and customer service to enable the public to access information, secure required approvals, and comply with building safety requirements in a convenient, reliable, and transparent manner. L&I achieves code compliance through collaboration, education, and effective enforcement measures that hold businesses, contractors, and property owners accountable.

Updates to the Zoning Administrative Adjustment Process
Changes to the Zoning Administrative Adjustment Review Process were put into place with the passing of Bill No. 180489-AAA on October 18, 2018.

Refer to the Guide for an outline of the requirements and steps of the revised review process* before submitting the Zoning Administrative Adjustment Application.

*For complete requirements, please refer to Section 14-303(16) of the Philadelphia Zoning Code.
Need Copies of Permits, Licenses, or Permit Documents?
Many L&I records/documents can be accessed online, at no cost. Refer to the document-type to get the record(s) you need. A PDF version of the details below is also available. 

Complete Zoning records may be accessed through Atlas. Searching is easy—enter the address, select the ‘Licenses & Inspections’ tab and scroll down to ‘Zoning Permit Documents’.

Construction Permits
  • Permit information from 2006 to present can be accessed through Atlas. Searching is easy—enter the address, select the ‘Licenses & Inspections’ tab.
  • Copies of permits from 2006 to present may be requested by submitting the Copy Request Form and required payment*
  • Copies of any plans on file may be requested by the owner or the owner’s agent by submitting the Plan Request Form and required payment*
    • If you are not the property owner or the permit applicant/contractor, and are requesting copies of the plans, then you must submit a letter of authorization from the owner along with the Plan Request Form.
Note: Plans processed prior to 2004 were not retained by the Department of L&I unless associated with a Building Variance or major project.

*For copy services that require payment, review the accepted forms of payment

Certificates of Occupancy
The existence and availability of a certificate of occupancy is based upon construction date.
  • Most buildings constructed prior to 1969 or used as a single-family dwelling do not have a certificate of occupancy. Please review the Code Bulletin for more information.
  • For 1969 - 2006, all certificates retained by the Department may be found in the zoning file, available on Atlas. Searching is easy—enter the address, select the ‘Licenses & Inspections’ tab and scroll down to ‘Zoning Permit Documents’.
  • For 2006 - present, a duplicate certificate may be obtained by submitting the Copy Request Form and required payment*. The requestor is required to identify the associated building permit number, which may be searched on Atlas
*For copy services that require payment, review the accepted forms of payment.

Lawful Occupancy Sign
Any sign retained by the Department may be found in the zoning file, available on Atlas. Searching is easy—enter the address, select the ‘Licenses & Inspections’ tab and scroll down to ‘Zoning Permit Documents’.

Review the instructions to file for a new or replacement Lawful Occupancy Sign.

  • Current license information may be searched through Atlas.
  • Copies of a current license may be obtained by submitting the Copy Request Form and required payment*.
*For copy services that require payment, review the accepted forms of payment.

  • Violation history may be searched through Atlas.
  • To obtain a copy of a violation, please visit the L&I Services Center** (1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Municipal Services Building, Public Service Concourse).
**The L&I Services Center is open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, offices close at Noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
New and revised EZ Permits now available.
 Please see the new EZ Permit Applications that are available.
Amended Permit Process
All work must comply with the conditions of the approved permit. Significant deviations impact the conditions of approval and must be resubmitted for review through an amended permit process.
Updates to Rough-In Permits
L&I is now authorized to allow rough work to begin prior to full permit issuance. The Rough-In Fact Sheet clarifies the conditions and limitations of current rough-in approvals.
Requesting Building Plans
Current property owners requesting plans for work performed after 2004 may request copies of the building files. The Building Plan Request Form includes details about the request process and requirements. 

As a reminder, zoning plans are available on Atlas.
New EZ Sign Standards
New EZ Sign Standards have been established for Zoning and Building:
  • Updates to the EZ Wall Sign will allow for sign installation to an existing building without submitting plans by specific meeting conditions and limitations. 
New Excavation Protection Requirements
New requirements have been enacted to protect buildings and public ways against adjacent excavations. Effective October 1, 2018, all submitted building permit applications involving excavation must address the protection of adjacent building and public ways in accordance with Code Bulletin B-0503-R1.

Requirements include the following:
  • Protection of public ways adjacent to a proposed excavation must be described in permit application; 
  • Excavations deeper than 12’ and within proximity to public way, as described in the Code Bulletin, require sheeting and shoring plans sealed by a PA professional engineer; 
  • Protections for excavations 12’ or less in depth must be described in a soils investigation report. The engineer is responsible to verify adequate installation.
New Building Codes for Philadelphia
Effective Monday, October 1, 2018, new construction codes go into effect throughout Pennsylvania. For Philadelphia, the 2018 International Codes will apply to all non-residential construction. (The 2015 International Residential Code with state-modifications will apply for residential construction.) Ordinances have been/will be signed by the Mayor, making Philadelphia the first city in the nation to adopt the 2018 International Codes to regulate all construction requirements for non-residential buildings.

Along with the new codes, the process for applying the previous code to design and construction contracts for permit applications was revised by the state, limiting this period to six (6) months. This means that, beginning Monday, April 1, 2019, all permit applications submitted for new buildings or renovations to existing buildings must be reviewed under the new codes.

Learn more about the new building codes.

A Code Bulletin detailing the implementation of the new codes is now available. 

Wall Bracing Plan Requirements
Effective May 1, 2018, all applications for wood framing systems must include a separate wall bracing plan. Learn more about the wall bracing plan requirements.
Changes to the Sewer Connection Process
The Sewer Connection Process is changing. The Philadelphia Water Department will start enforcing new sewer connection regulations on October 1, 2017.
Special Inspections & Special Inspector Registration
Effective January 1, 2018, all new building permit applications requiring Special Inspections must include the identification of a registered special inspection agency.
Building Permit Standards Signs
A completed Building Permit Application is required for Wall Signs, Awnings, Projecting Signs, or Free-Standing Signs.
Permit and License Fee Increase
Permit, license, and appeal fee increases become effective on July 1, 2017. The new fee schedule will apply to all new applications made and license renewal periods beginning on or after this date.
Safer Philly Fire Escapes – How You Can Help
Where are Philly's Fire Escapes?
Help Keep Philly Safe with a Few Easy Clicks

The City is mapping the location of fire escapes so we can check whether they've had a safety inspection and we can't do it without you! Please help by filling out this form.
Partners in Housing Supplement: Protect Against Lead in Water
Partners in Housing Supplement: Protect Against Lead in Water. Download supplement.
Temple University Special Vending District
The Vending Unit is now accepting applications for the waiting list for Temple University Special Vending District. You can drop off the attached application at the Vending Unit Office on the 11th Floor of the Municipal Services Bldg., 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Changes to Building Demolition Requirements Effective 1/3/17
Click here for more information.
Landlord Lead Paint Responsiblity
Philadelphia’s Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law requires landlords to ensure that rental properties are Lead Safe or Lead Free if:

1. The property was built before 1978; and
2. Any new occupant is aged six years or under

Before a lease is signed the landlord must provide the tenant with a current certificate indicating that the property is Lead Safe or Lead Free, based on an inspection of the home and dust wipe samples. Only state-licensed inspectors and EPA-certified dust wipe technicians can provide these certifications. The tenant must sign the certification and then the landlord must send the signed copy, along with the dust wipe test results, to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

When signing an application for a new or renewed rental license, property owners are now required to indicate they are in compliance with this law. For more information, copies of the law, guidance for landlords, sample certificates, and more, go to:
Inspection report Requirements for Digital Display Signage
Digital Display Signage Inspection Requirements. Download.
Zoning Legislation Table
The Zoning Legislation Table summarizes recent legislative action impacting Title 14 of the Philadelphia Code. For the most current changes, please visit City Council’s website,
Permit Requirements for Remediation of Structurally Unsafe Building Conditions
Download Requirements.
L&I uses technology to help prevent buildings from collapsing
Click here  to read the article.
L&I’s OSHA 10 and 30 training requirements
Click here  for information on programs that satisfy L&I’s OSHA 10 and 30 training requirements, as well as a list of authorized training resources.

Permit Extensions – Updated Information
Permit Extensions – Updated Information
Permit and Board Approval Extensions Authorized by PA Act 46 of 2010 as modified by Act 87 of 2012.  UPDATED INFORMATION
Changes to Expediter Submissions Effective 3/7/16
Click here  for more information.
Immigration Assistance Providers
Click here for important information about Immigration Assistance Providers. For a copy of the associated registration form, please visit the ‘Licenses’ section of this website.
Prohibited Vending Locations and Special Vending Districts Map
The Vending / Sidewalk Sales map is a visualization of prohibited vending locations and Special Vending Districts within Philadelphia, as mandated by The City of Philadelphia City Code sections 9-204, 9-205 and 9-206. This map eliminates the need to read through the unordered City Code Charter sections and it conveniently summarizes the verbose physical space descriptions contained in the City Charter.

The following areas are detailed in this map.

Prohibited Streets represent street segments where sidewalk sales or vending is prohibited. Click on a prohibited street to receive a pop-up containing information about which sides of the street vending is prohibited, which code section the prohibited street segment represents and a description of the prohibited vending area.

Prohibited Areas depict geographical areas where vending is prohibited. Click on a prohibited Area to receive a pop-up containing information about the prohibited vending area, which code section describes the prohibited area and a description of the prohibited area.

Special Vending Districts are areas where vending & sidewalk sales are prohibited without special permission from The City of Philadelphia. Vendor’s can occasionally vend in special vending districts but not without city approval. To potentially be granted permission to vend within Special Vending Districts, contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections Vending Unit by calling 311 (215-686-8686).

Click here for the Prohibited Vending Locations and Special Vending Districts Map.